Who the heck is Anthony Benner?

Well the quick answer is nobody special, although I get the impression that he probably is the kind of guy who thinks he is.
So what has he done to get up my nose? Well nothing major, so if you here for some gossip, move on, it’s just a rant from me.

I think it was 2006 or 2007 that I joined Ecademy which is a great UK based Business Social Networking tool (and here you can see my Ecademy Profile).

Due to ill health, I wasn’t able to keep up with all the comings and goings on Ecademy so I stopped using the ‘paid features’ of Ecademy.  It had nothing to do with Ecademy itself, it has a great team behind the organisation running it. I’ve met some great people because of it, and I’ve made plenty of business connections.  The meetings arranged via Ecademy can be of great value but since I couldn’t commit the time it deserved, I let my account fallback to it’s “free” service.  Even the “free” service has it’s merits and well worthy of joining the site, but hopefully, in a few weeks time I will get round to upgrading my account again.

Another reason behind my decision to let my account lapse is the sheer number of totally “free” Social Networking sites.  Whilst I wasn’t able to commit the time to work, there was no sense in throwing good money after something you can actually get for free anyway.  I won’t create a list of those free sites here, because I am not knocking Ecademy in the slightest.
So why would I go back to Ecademy? Simply because of the people that exist on Ecademy or rather the quality of the people “you can” meet on Ecademy.

It is the members of Ecademy that make it so worth while and provide the power behind the site.  Quite simply, the site could have been done in Notepad and have the crappiest web front end in the world, but the members of Ecademy are what gives it true value.

So back to my rant. Who is Anthony Benner and what did he do to get up my nose.
Back on the 14th October 2008 he send me a contact request in order that I would join his network and vice-versa.
I still kept an eye on requests and any that are relevant and non-spammy, I would at least try and respond to, but to be honest, I had never heard of this guy, never had him recommended to me, he wasn’t on any of my contacts friends lists, so I gave it a low priority to respond back to. (So low that even after 3months I didn’t get round to responding).
After all, his initial request for contact had no information about why he wanted to contact me, contained no information on why I would want to contact him. So what was in it for me? Where was the ‘attraction’?

Then I get a message from his account on the 4th January that simply said: “No Response”. (Which I am not sure if that came from the system, or from him directly). But on looking closer, I also see he has “blocked me” from contacting him?
WTF?
Blocked?
Why? Because I didn’t respond to his “spammy” request to be on his contact list.
Ok, I say let’s have a look at this guys profile and see what I could have done to piddle him off.

I see he is ranked #1 in Australia. Ok, that looks fairly impressive.
Globally ranked #16, which sounds equally as impressive.
Maybe I’m too small a guy to be worthy of being able to communicate with him, so let’s read on.
So let’s have a look at some of the 69 testimonials. (That number appears quite apt as it happens).
Most of his testimonials are from people who have never even met with him, let alone worked with him, yet they give him a testimonial. And again, most of them are from people who are unlikely ever to work with him.
So what kind of testimonial is that? What has ever done for them that would inspire me to want him to do anything of any use for me? Not a lot..
A testimonial is only ever worthy if it reflects something you have done for someone, or a summary of a service you have provided.  When ever I look at someone to do work with, I research them to the nth degree and if possible, try to speak for former clients, read reviews, do a web search etc.

Now let’s have a look at his website. A blogspot blog set up in August 2008 with the grand total of one post.
And what does he do? He’s in to PR ? erm. Public relations. Ah, someone who knows all about personal images. So blocking someone for not responding to a random connection request creates a good personal image. Not.
Even his main domain simple redirects back to the blogspot blog (which has a PR of 1).
Somehow he has been rated good by 746 people. 90% of which have probably never met him, exchanged a ‘contact’ request and that’s about it.
For some ranked so high, who is not even a Blackstar immediately makes me suspicious of that persons activities.
So I still don’t have a clue what he does, or what he has done for all those people who think of him so highly.

Doing your research on someone BEFORE you connect is a much better way of doing business.
I can’t stand people who think the number of followers, or ‘friends’ is some sort of “willy waving” contest.
You can bet he hasn’t even heard of Twitter, and guarantee that if he had, he’d have one of those accounts where 2 people follow him, yet he follows 10,000 plus.

Block me will you. Thanks, you’ve done me a great favour.